On January 1, Cubans marked National Liberation Day. Some 60 years back, the revolution led by Fidel Castro and his rebel army defeated the last Cuban capitalist government and drove the nation's fate along a new path: Socialism.
Men and women who witnessed the historic deeds and others from newer generations celebrated the 60-year process with local gatherings recalling events from the rebel armed struggle and revolution leader Fidel Castro. They also launched music concerts and neighborhood feasts as they waved Cuban flags from their balconies and state institutions.
However, the New Year brings bigger challenges to meet down the road, particularly the need to revitalize the country's economy, which recorded a growth rate of mere 1.2 percent in 2018. Cubans are involved in a complex process to make their socialist project prosperous and sustainable.
After six decades of ideal socialism, Cubans have been called to change their mindset, being more pragmatic and realistic. This has lift previous barriers against market laws and private initiatives without disregarding the main role of state companies in the production of goods and services.
The main rally to mark the occasion was held in the historic city of Santiago de Cuba, the eastern cradle of all wars of independence. Former president Raul Castro, who is the current first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, addressed the Cuban people at the event.
(Cover: The first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, Raul Castro, gives a speech during the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution at the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, January 1, 2019. /VCG Photo)